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Cape Breton Regional Municipality, Nova Scotia (Canada)

Last modified: 2018-07-14 by rob raeside
Keywords: nova scotia | cape breton regional municipality | cape breton sloop | maple leaf border |
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[Cape Breton Island] 1:2 image by Eugene Ipavec
Source: Canadian City Flags, Raven 18

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Cape Breton Regional Municipality

The Cape Breton Regional Municipality (CBRM; 101,619 inhabitants in 2011, therefore the second most populous municipality in Nova Scotia; 24,333 ha) is located on the eastern side of Cape Breton Island. CBRM was formed on 1 August 1995 through the amalgamation of the Municipality of the County of Cape Breton, the City of Sydney, the Towns of Glace Bay, Sydney Mines, New Waterford, North Sydney, Dominion and Louisbourg.
Ivan Sache, 30 July 2012

Current Flag

Text and image(s) from Canadian City Flags, Raven 18 (2011), courtesy of the North American Vexillological Association, which retains copyright. Image(s) by permission of Eugene Ipavec.


The flag of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality has a dark green field bearing in its centre a Cape Breton sloop in yellow with white sails, yellow spars, and a yellow outline. It is about one-half the height of the flag and sails toward the hoist. It is surrounded by a double border connecting eight maple leaves, all in yellow. Those on the corners point outward, and those on the top, bottom, and sides point inward.
Rob Raeside, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011


The Cape Breton Regional Municipality was formed on 1 August 1995 by the amalgamation of eight former municipalities: the City of Sydney; the Towns of Dominion, Glace Bay, Louisbourg, New Waterford, North Sydney, and Sydney Mines; and the County of Cape Breton. The number of maple leaves refers to those eight municipal units. The Cape Breton sloop comes from the original Great Seal of Cape Breton granted in 1820 by George III when Cape Breton was a British colony. The green field represents the green forests of Cape Breton Island, and the border, a “double tressure flory”, reflects that of the Scottish arms on the provincial flag. The yellow represents the value of tourism. Together the green and yellow (gold) recall the Cape Breton tartan. The flag is a banner of the municipality’s arms.
Rob Raeside, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011


The city applied to the Canadian Heraldic Authority for a grant of a flag. The sub-committee which oversaw the process comprised Deputy Mayor Clarence Prince, chair, Councillors Art MacDonald and Wes Stubbert, Corporate Services Administrator James MacCormack, and citizen appointees Barry Gabriel, former curator of the art gallery at the University College of Cape Breton, and Stewart LeForte, member of the Heraldry Society of Canada.
Rob Raeside, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011


Robert D. Watt, Chief Herald of Canada, Canadian Heraldic Authority.
Rob Raeside, Canadian City Flags, Raven 18, 2011

Coat of Arms

A photo shows the flag hoisted in Sydney, together with the flags of Canada and Nova Scotia.

[Cape Breton Island]
Source: Canadian Heraldic Authority

The coat of arms is presented as follows:
"Granted in 1997, the coat of arms acknowledges, through eight maple leafs on a shield, the former municipalities that now comprise the regional unit. The shield, the main element of the coat of arms, also features a Cape Breton sloop taken from the original Great Seal of Cape Breton. The colours green and gold represent forestry and tourism and reflect the Cape Breton tartan. The shield is supported by a horse and a unicorn whose collars include symbols of coal and steel, as well as a violin and bow indicative of the creative spirit of the Cape Breton people and a garb of wheat representing hospitality. The crest consists of a crown of stone with an open portcullis (gate) referring to our historic gateway link welcoming immigrants to the Western World. A rising phoenix, represented by a bald eagle, symbolizes the birth of a new municipality from the remains of the old.

The unit rests on a stone wall, representing the Municipality's fortifications, including Fortress Louisbourg, and features a cape promontory alluding to the formal name of our municipality.

The motto, "Fortuna Non Mutat Genus", translates "Circumstance Does Not Change Our Origin", a fitting motto for this new municipality. The motto "A Community of Communities" refers to the amalgamation which  took place in 1995. > - Municipal website

The symbols of the Cape Breton Regional Municipality were granted on 16 April 1997 by Letters Patented published in the Public Registry of Arms, Flags and Badges, Vol. III, p. 166, as announced on 24 March 2001 in the Canada Gazette, Vol. 135, p. 937.

FORTUNA NON MUTAT GENUS. This Latin phrase means "Fortune does not change our nature".

Vert within a double tressure erablé counter-erablé of eight or a Cape Breton sloop or, sails argent, pennon or;
Issuant from a mural coronet vert masoned or its gate gules with portcullis raised between two windows all or a phoenix also or head argent beaked or rising from flames gules;

On a compartment of a quay of stone argent masoned sable curving away from the shield rising above barry wavy azure and argent enclosing a cape promontory set with fir trees vert and mayflowers proper dexter a stallion argent crined and unguled sable gorged with a collar the rim set on and above with lozenges sable pendant therefrom a torteau charged with a garb or sinister a unicorn argent armed, crined and unguled or gorged with a collar rim set above with the ends of rails gules pendant therefrom a torteau charged with a fiddle in saltire with a bow or;

Flag: A banner of the arms;
Badge: Eight maple leaves interlaced stems inwards or charged with an octagon Vert surcharged with a Cape Breton sloop or sails argent pennon or. - Public Registry of Arms, Flags and Badges
Ivan Sache, 30 July 2012